Anthropocene River Campus: The Human Delta

August 21st, 2019

From November 9 to 16, 2019, the Anthropocene River Campus: The Human Delta synthesizes the downstream within a week-long field research and educational event at Tulane University and in and around New Orleans. It aims to open up novel collaborative and exploratory epistemological practices around six seminars and a series of public programs.

The Anthropocene River Campus: The Human Delta will synthesize the downstream in the Mississippi within a week-long field research and educational event at Tulane University and in and around New Orleans, aiming to open up novel collaborative and exploratory epistemological practices.

When the Mississippi River, having drained one-eighth of the entire continent, reaches the delta it does not only bring with it the whole material and cultural legacy of the anthropogenic territory it went through. It epitomizes the many vernacular contours of the Anthropocene and, at the same time, reconfigurates them towards a global meshwork of teleconnected consequences. Marking a decisive shift from a tributary to a distributary system, the unique geography of the delta and its “thick” locality represents both the acme of the Anthropocene River, as well as its outflow into the global sphere of open waters. It exemplifies as much a local Anthropocene topography as it draws out a global topology of Anthropocene bearings and relationships.

Synthesizing the findings of the Field Stations, the Anthropocene River Campus: The Human Delta unfolds key themes—ranging from the flow of commodities, river engineering, and risk and equity to clashing Anthropocene temporalities, claims to property and access, and the stark reality of spiritual and material exhaustion—and investigates them locally in and around the delta. With a series of six field research centered seminars and collateral public events, the aim is to open up novel collaborative and exploratory epistemological practices.